Very, Very, Very Dreadful: The Influenza Pandemic of 1918

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Random House Children's Books, Jan 9, 2018 - Young Adult Nonfiction - 208 pages
From National Book Award finalist Albert Marrin comes a fascinating look at the history and science of the deadly 1918 flu pandemic--and the chances for another worldwide pandemic.

In spring of 1918, World War I was underway, and troops at Fort Riley, Kansas, found themselves felled by influenza. By the summer of 1918, the second wave struck as a highly contagious and lethal epidemic and within weeks exploded into a pandemic, an illness that travels rapidly from one continent to another. It would impact the course of the war, and kill many millions more soldiers than warfare itself.

Of all diseases, the 1918 flu was by far the worst that has ever afflicted humankind; not even the Black Death of the Middle Ages comes close in terms of the number of lives it took. No war, no natural disaster, no famine has claimed so many. In the space of eighteen months in 1918-1919, about 500 million people--one-third of the global population at the time--came down with influenza. The exact total of lives lost will never be known, but the best estimate is between 50 and 100 million.

In this powerful book, filled with black and white photographs, nonfiction master Albert Marrin examines the history, science, and impact of this great scourge--and the possibility for another worldwide pandemic today.

A Chicago Public Library Best Book of the Year!

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Very, Very, Very Dreadful: The Influenza Pandemic of 1918

User Review  - Publishers Weekly

Marrin (Uprooted) presents a gripping analysis of “history’s worst-ever health disaster,” the so-called Spanish Flu of 1918, which infected 500 million people worldwide (“one-third of the human race ... Read full review


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About the author (2018)

Albert Marrin is the author of numerous nonfiction books for young readers, including the National Book Award finalist Flesh and Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy; Uprooted: The Japanese-American Experience During WWII; A Volcano Beneath the Snow: John Brown's War Against Slavery; Black Gold: The Story of Oil in Our Lives,and Thomas Paine: Crusader for Liberty, and FDR and the American Crisis.

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